the fable of the fire – part 1

Many years ago, Abuelito Fuego sent a shooting star into the dry embrace of a sage bush deep in the desert of Mexico. The fire burned for days, dancing high into the sky with a supernatural scarlet glow. Over the dunes of sand cooled by the night’s breath, Santana was wandering back to his village. Against his father’s wishes, who feared he was too young for the journey, he had run off into the desert to seek his soul animal on the highest reaches of the mesa. After days of seeking, he had still not achieved his higher purpose and feared he must return to his father with empty hands.

With eyes unseeing, Santana let the light breeze at his back push him homewards. Coming over the crest of a dune, the scarlet flames of Abuelito’s fire caught his gaze. A pang of fear at the unearthly fire struck his heart, stealing his breath and filling his nostrils with the reek of smoke. The licks of flames beckoned him. Perhaps this was the sign he had been seeking, but his father’s warnings of evil spirits scavenging the desert to tempt lost souls echoed through his mind. He could turn his back and walk away. He could return to his father and live the life of his neighbours. But the flames beckoned to him, whispering secrets into his heart in a language long-lost to this world. It spoke of magic and passion, of possibilities that could fly as far as people could dream. The desire in his soul betrayed him. He took the dancing flames upon his staff and let them guide him forward.

Santana walked for days with the sacred flames until he reached the coast. With the sun setting over the desert, he sat, tired, with his face turned to the waters. He was now miles away from his home, his family and all he knew, lead away by the mysterious red fire. Was he right to leave everything behind or was this the trick of an evil spirit drawing him towards misfortune? His exhausted mind fell into a deep slumber.

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